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Biodiversity surveys help Jeling draw nature lovers

By Chen Liang in Metog, Xizang | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-13 09:56
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An employee (right) with the Shan Shui Conservation Center and a villager from Jeling village set up infrared cameras in a forest in Metog county, Xizang autonomous region.

The proximity to a well-preserved primitive forest, improved infrastructure and the local people's openness to new ideas have all played an important role in attracting researchers and conservationists to Jeling village in Metog county, Xizang autonomous region. Some have not only come to visit, but also have opted to stay long term for their work.

Wei Chunyue is one of them.

After getting her master's degree in the United States, Wei, a lifelong nature enthusiast, spent a year working with an international conservation organization based in the US.

Later, she returned to China and started working with the Shan Shui Conservation Center, a Chinese nongovernmental conservation organization, in March 2021. The NGO, dedicated to species and ecosystem conservation to resolve the problem of human and nature coexistence, opened a workstation in Jeling in April 2022.

Metog is part of the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon region, which holds immense value as a focal point for studying and preserving biodiversity on our planet, Wei said. The region stands as one of the world's 34 foremost biodiversity hotspots.

At first, only one employee was stationed in the village. In March last year, Wei and three of her colleagues arrived in Jeling for a two-year stay.

"I am mainly responsible for managing the data we collect in the whole area," Wei said. "The other colleagues are responsible for conducting field surveys — setting up infrared cameras for wildlife monitoring and research in the forests and then regularly visiting the cameras to receive data."

Last year, they managed about 100 cameras in Metog and neighboring counties, including Bomi and Manling, in Nyingchi city, Xizang. This year, the number of cameras has increased to 180, she said, adding that she sometimes joins her colleagues to conduct bird surveys.

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